Dr. Polsky on the Predictive Value of ctDNA in BRAF-Mutant Melanoma

Source: OncLive, September 2019

David Polsky, MD, PhD, Alfred W. Kopf, MD Professor of Dermatologic Oncology, Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, professor, Department of Pathology, and director, Pigmented Lesion Service, NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, discusses the predictive value of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in BRAF-mutant melanoma.

In an analysis led by Polsky, ctDNA monitoring was found to be clinically valid in predicting whether patients with unresectable, metastatic BRAF-mutant melanoma would benefit from either dabrafenib (Tafinlar) alone or in combination with trametinib (Mekinist). At baseline, the amount of ctDNA was predictive of survival.

This is the first study to show the predictive value of ctDNA, as prior studies have only been able to detect its presence or lack thereof, explains Polsky. Moreover, there was a high sensitivity rate of 93% of patients who had a BRAF V600E mutation in their plasma. With this platform, investigators were able to quantify these levels with outcomes.
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